Re: [asa] dialog with YEC brethern

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Wed Sep 06 2006 - 15:49:56 EDT

The trouble is how do we deal with both the nonsensical and inaccurate aspects of YEC.

I have just got "thousands not billions" on the RATE project, which really defies rational analysis and somehow one must say "crap" without using the word! Also YEC arguments are like a hydra - cut off one and another grows in its place.When I have been able to for reasons of time or specific understanding I have ALWAYS found where YEC arguments are wrong but then there are many more which I don't know the answer to. However I could not take any argument of Morris, Woodmorappe etc seriously as I have found them wrong before.

Then, how do you deal with the problem of misquotation whether by Morris, Woodmarappe or McIntosh. How can you find the time to itemise why each quote is a misquote. How do you present the case against them without getting squeals that you are accusing them of lying?

In other words whatever we do is wrong!

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Iain Strachan
  To: David Opderbeck
  Cc: Bill Hamilton ; Roger G. Olson ; ASA
  Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 6:38 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] dialog with YEC brethern

  On 9/6/06, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
    I think Bill, Merv, Iain, et al. are right. Yet I think Roger makes a good point about being clear in our position (as individuals if not as an organization). There's a time and place for both approaches, and there's a question of culpability in how we employ each.

    Folks like Bill, Merv, Iain and myself are involved in work and ministry with other believers who are at widely varying places in their understanding of the faith. We work in churches and organizations where much of the leadership perhaps has been sympathetic to YEC for many years. Most of these people we work and minister with aren't culpable concerning their YEC beliefs. They aren't trained scientists who should know better. They're regular people trying to live faithfully to the Gospel in a "wicked and perverse generation." Calling their YEC beliefs "crap" won't move them any closer to a more balanced view of faith/science issues, nor will it serve the many other purposes we do hold in common with them. It will only cause division.

  I'll second that. Furthermore, this kind of thing limits the usefulness of the forum as a way of helping out people like this. The person I mentioned that I'm in dialog with is not the only one. He used to run the Christian Group at where I work (which is a Science Park in Oxford, UK), until his company went bust and he moved away to another job. But the remainder of the group seem to have several people whose sympathies are drawn towards YEC/ID and against evolution (even one of them, still a "seeker" and not a Christian yet, who has a PhD in Molecular Biology, has declared herself not to believe in evolution). The new leader of the group agreed with me to set up an "Origins" email forum, to discuss the issues. The last post he made to the forum was to recommend going to a presentation by Ken Ham in Oxford last weekend. Great! Not.

  A number of these people have questions to ask me (what did I think of this or that YEC claim), and it's quite onerous on my time, having to look up all this stuff. A forum like ASA could potentially be very useful for providing answers to these people in a gracious way that doesn't threaten them or insult their intelligence. But sadly the ASA forum isn't like that - people on it think it's quite OK to use insulting language like "crap" and "braying jackass" and so forth, and accuse those of us that object of being "sanctimonious", "over emotional", "confusing love with sentimentality" and so forth.

  Because of that, I'd NEVER recommend to people like this to join up with a forum like ASA until its members have learnt to behave better and show some respect for our YEC bretheren, because if I may be permitted to use blunt language for a moment, such disrespectful behaviour just pisses people off. It certainly pissed me off when I was sympathetic towards YEC.

  The (largely British) Christians In Science forum is much more gentlemanly, and the members are still just as adamant in their rejection of YECism. I've recommended that one, but definitely not the ASA listserv. Think about it folks ... you are missing out on the opportunity to perform a useful ministry. There are so many people on the listserv who work in such diverse areas of science, that most people ought to be able to put people straight on why this or that YEC claim is false.

   I know that in America, the ever increasing advance of YECism and their anti-science attitudes is VERY frustrating and upsetting, and turns Christianity into a laughing stock. It is very clear that many of you feel angry about this, and justifiably so. I know it's frustrating for you all, but please for a moment just think about what I have said. You'd all make my job trying to reason with these people a whole lot easier if you could act with some common decency, instead of giving into the temptation to spout vitriol.


To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Wed Sep 6 15:56:05 2006

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Sep 06 2006 - 15:56:05 EDT